A new school year is a great time to discuss with your family important school bus safety reminders. Here are a few tips to ensure your child’s ride to and from school is a good one throughout the entire school year.

Before the Bus Arrives

  • Instruct children to walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, advise them to stay out of the street, walk single-file, face traffic, and stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.
  • Verify the bus stop location offers good visibility for the bus driver; if changes are needed, talk with nearby homeowners or school district officials to implement changes. Never let kids wait in a house or car, where the driver may miss seeing them approach the bus.
  • Instruct children to stay at least three steps away from the road and allow the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching it.

On the Bus Ride

  • When boarding the bus, items can get bumped and dropped. Caution children that before picking anything up, they should talk to the driver and follow instructions to safely retrieve their possessions.
  • Teach safe riding habits: Stay seated with head, hands, and feet inside at all times; keep bags and books out of the aisle and remain seated until the bus stops moving.

Leaving the Bus

  • Remind children to look before stepping off the bus. If they must cross the street, teach them to do so in front of the bus by taking five big steps (approximately 10 feet) away from the front of the bus, looking up and waiting for the driver to signal that it is safe.
  • For parents who meet their kids at the bus, remember that excited kids may dart across the street. Eliminate the risk by waiting on the side of the street where kids exit the bus.
  • Make the bus ride part of your daily “how was school?” discussion. Encourage kids to talk about the things they see and hear on the bus so you can discuss appropriate behaviors and, if necessary, report any concerns to school administrators.

Rethink Your Child’s Ride

Another important way that you can ensure your child has a safer and healthier ride is to ask for propane-powered school buses. This school year, more than 1 million students will ride a propane school bus because propane buses reduce harmful emissions, save money, and create a safer ride.

  • Propane school bus engines lower greenhouse gas emissions to near-zero levels, which improves air quality and eliminates concerns about breathing-related health issues, like asthma and bronchitis.
  • Over the life of the vehicle, propane school buses cost less because of lower fuel costs and more manageable maintenance. Those savings can instead be used to fund student-based programs.
  • Propane buses are noticeably quieter than alternatives. Noise level and safety go hand-in-hand since a quieter ride allows drivers to focus more on the road as student conversations are less likely to reach higher levels in an effort to be heard over engine noise.

Consider starting a conversation with your school district about switching to propane school buses using resources at BetterOurBuses.com.